Christina Wood

For more travel planning articles by Chris, check out her Disney travel blog, Everything Walt Disney World. Chris is also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team and an authorized Disney travel planner with Pixie Vacations, and visits the parks about 55 days each year. To get free planning and assistance with your next Disney vacation, please call her at 919-889-5281 or email at [email protected] You may also fill out a quick Disney Vacation Quote form here.

Disney Off the Beaten Path and On the Cheap

Disney World is expensive. Okay, so that’s not a newsflash or anything, but not everything at Disney World costs money. Some of my best moments have been on the cheap or pretty close to it. Sitting on a bench and people watching? Absolutely free and… Read More »Disney Off the Beaten Path and On the Cheap

The Highs and Lows of Renting Disney Vacation Club Points.

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You’ve probably seen the kiosks for Disney Vacation Club (DVC) sales in the parks and at Downtown Disney. While Disney doesn’t like the word “timeshare,” that’s essentially what these properties are. Most are attached to deluxe resorts although there are also stand-alone properties like Saratoga Springs and Old Key West.  These resorts have the same superior theming and amenities as other deluxe resorts, but in addition to studios, which closely resemble standard hotel rooms, they also come with one, two, and three-bedroom units with full kitchens, multiple bathrooms and washer and driers.

Staying in a DVC villa is a great way to have all the comforts of home while on your Disney vacation, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. You can rent these villas from Disney, but there’s a less expensive option available: Renting points from a DVC owner.  This comes with some risks, but if you’re willing to take the chance, you can save a lot of money. Here’s how.Read More »The Highs and Lows of Renting Disney Vacation Club Points.

The Disney Blog Readers Offer Their Top Ten Disney Newbie Tips.

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Think back to your first trip: What do you wish you’d known?  Was there a moment where you thought to yourself “I could have saved myself a lot of time (or money) if only I’d known that!” In my case, my first “real” trip came when I’d moved from Florida and was no longer taking quick day trips. There were so many things I didn’t think about when Disney World was just a few hours drive away.  John was wondering that too, so he put out a question on the Facebook page and here are some of your answers. I hope you find something you can use –or even pass on to a Disney newbie:

This isn't looking good, is it?

This isn’t looking good, is it?

10.   Suzanne G. is a girl after my own heart. She advises to take a jacket (or a sweater), even if it’s supposed to be warm.  While you’re at it, bring a poncho too.  It’s probably going to rain at least once on your trip.

9.  Get to the Magic Kingdom at opening and make a beeline toward Fantasyland.  Sometimes you buck conventional wisdom; this is not one of those times. If you have little kids, you want to knock out Pooh and Peter Pan first since these rides are some of the most popular in all of the parks. After that you can take on the mountains.

The New Rooms at the Polynesian are Gorgeous.

The New Rooms at the Polynesian are Gorgeous.

8.  Stay on property.  I’ve found it’s hard to sell someone on Disney property if he or she is looking at the bottom line. If you’re purely interested in saving money, you can usually stay cheaper off site, but if you think that time is money, you might find quite the opposite:  That you actually save money by staying on property. So do the math, but always remember the convenience factor. It’s huge.

7.  Pace yourself: You can’t do it all in one trip.  Going completely “theme park commando” for days at a time is overrated.  Take in the little details, people watch, eat some good meals. It’s all part of the experience.Read More »The Disney Blog Readers Offer Their Top Ten Disney Newbie Tips.

The Top Ten Most Common Disney Questions I Get.

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Whether you’re a Disney blogger, a travel agent, or a super fan who helps friends plan their Disney vacations, you hear the same questions over and over again.  Some are funny, some  are a little maddening, but as your teachers used to tell you in school, the only dumb question is one you don’t ask. While that may be debatable, here are some of the most common ones I hear:

10. Can I get a refund for my unused park days?

No. This is why you should buy the least amount of days you’ll need, since you can (almost) always add days but you can’t take away days.

9. Can I pool hop?

Non-DVC (Disney Vacation Club) guests may not pool hop. You may only use the pool at your own resort.  DVC owners may pool hop with some limitations.Read More »The Top Ten Most Common Disney Questions I Get.

Top Ten Ways to Get Your Disney Sugar Rush.

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I like to think that calories consumed at Disney World don’t count.  Oh sure, I can’t prove it, but when was the last time you gained weight on a Disney trip? Given what is clearly the start of a solid scientific hypothesis, let’s just go with the idea that you can indulge all you want and not feel guilty. If you feel the same way, I’ve got the top ten must-do sugar rushes right here on this list. Best of all, everything, save for the bread pudding, is just one snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

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10. The  Red Velvet Cupcake at Starring Rolls in Hollywood Studios.

Unlike a lot of cupcakes sold at Walt Disney World, this one isn’t so sweet that you can’t taste the actual flavors, which is great because the red velvet base of this cupcake comes with a cream cheese center that’s topped with delicious cream cheese frosting.  These cupcakes will sell out early, so make sure you pick one up before early afternoon.Read More »Top Ten Ways to Get Your Disney Sugar Rush.

Best Resort Room Options for Families of Five or More.

Disney's Art of Animation Suites sleep six comfortably.

Disney’s Art of Animation Suites sleep six comfortably.

A family of five isn’t a “big” family by any means, but it is by Disney standards, where most rooms sleep four people.  Because of this, many families mistakenly believe they won’t fit in a standard room, much less in a value room, when in reality there are some attractive options for “larger” families.  Even better, these options don’t have to break the bank.

Value Resort Options:

Disney value resorts are the gold standard for guests looking to economize on vacation.  The good news is that a value room gives you all the benefits of staying on property at a great price. The no-so-good news is that a standard room in a value resort can be a tight fit, with just two double beds and a small bathroom, and since these rooms only sleep four (plus one child under the age of three), they’re unsuitable for larger families. Fortunately, almost all Disney resort rooms connect, so you can book two rooms for up to eight people. Depending on the ages of the children, parents can have one room to themselves and the kids can share the other room, with the door open between them.  This is by far the most economical option for most larger families.  When you make your reservation, ask to book your rooms under one reservation number and one deposit.Read More »Best Resort Room Options for Families of Five or More.

Should I Rent a Car?

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One question I get a lot is “Should I rent a car when I visit Walt Disney World?” If you’re not staying on property, the answer is pretty simple:  Yes. There are no resorts within convenient walking distance of Walt Disney World, even the Downtown Disney resorts, and most resort shuttles are so inconvenient they’ll wreak havoc on your schedule. If you’re staying on property however, the answer is a little bit trickier.Read More »Should I Rent a Car?

Date Night at Disney World

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Sure, Disney World is great for kids, but it’s also a lot of fun for grown ups—there’s a reason it’s one of the most popular honeymoon locations in the world.  Since our kids are young, we can’t always enjoy some of the more grown up restaurants or even some of the attractions, so my husband and I usually plan a night out without the kids.  I find that not only does it give us a nice night out together, it also gives the kids some low-key fun and a break from the parks, something even the most ardent little Disney fan sometimes needs.  Sounds great, you say, but who’s going to watch the kids? Well, that’s the easy part.

Sitter Options.  Unless you’re traveling with extended family or friends who offer to watch the little ones while you go out, you’re probably going to need a sitter. Fortunately, you have two very convenient, safe options.Read More »Date Night at Disney World